A divorce can be finalized even if one spouse does not sign the divorce papers, according to Legal Zoom. Each state has specific laws and requirements for divorce.
For example, in Indiana, if one spouse claims an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage on the divorce petition and at the hearing, the judge may grant the divorce without the signature or agreement of the other spouse, states Indiana Legal Services. In cases where the spouse cannot be located to sign the divorce paperwork, the court might order the spouse filing the petition to post a public notice in the newspaper or take other steps to locate the spouse, states Law Help in Washington, D.C. If these steps are unsuccessful, the divorce is granted without the other party's signature.